Tracking John Calipari’s Kentucky recruits: Latest news on Jayden Quaintance, Boogie Fland, more who could follow Cal

In a shocking turn of events, legendary head coach John Calipari is headed to Arkansas after 15 seasons at Kentucky.

The move comes after the No. 3 seed Wildcats were bounced in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, marking three consecutive seasons without reaching the second weekend. Despite consistently bringing in top recruiting classes during Calipari’s tenure, Kentucky only has one national championship ring to show for it.

Rumors started to leak late Sunday that Calipari was nearing a deal to fill the Razorbacks’ head coaching vacancy. This is the latest domino to fall in a series of moves that began with USC head coach Andy Enfield leaving for SMU and former Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman filling Enfield’s spot in Los Angeles.

Calipari’s departure from Big Blue Nation will have a ripple effect across all of college basketball. The 65-year-old became an icon during his time at Kentucky, establishing himself as one of the best recruiters in the country as a pioneer in the one-and-done era.

MORE: John Calipari replacements: Ranking Kentucky’s best coaching candidates, from Mark Pope to Rick Pitino

The Wildcats were set to bring in the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in 2024, but that could all change with Calipari’s exit. Remember, when Calipari left Memphis for the Kentucky job back in 2009, he took top recruits John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins with him.

What does Calipari’s move from Kentucky to Arkansas mean for the Wildcats’ current players and incoming recruits? The Sporting News has you covered with the latest updates below.

Will John Calipari take Kentucky recruits, players to Arkansas?

Kentucky 2024 recruiting class

With one five-star recruit and two four-star recruits, Kentucky only trailed Duke for the best incoming class in the country. The Wildcats had more 2024 McDonald’s All-Americans than any other program, headlined by center Jayden Quaintance, forward Karter Knox, and guard Boogie Fland.

But how many of these top recruits will stick with Kentucky now that Calipari is gone? That question remains answered for now.

Take a look at the Wildcats’ incoming recruiting class below, along with the latest information on their decision to stay with Kentucky or re-open their recruiting.

Jayden Quaintance, Word of God (NC)

National Rank: 8

Position: Center

Recruiting status: TBD

There has not been any update on Quaintance’s recruiting status, but he is the highest-profile prospect in Kentucky’s 2024 class.

Karter Knox, Overtime Elite

National Rank: 20

Position: Forward

Recruiting status: Decommitted

Knox is the only player who has re-opened his recruiting so far, but expect others to join him. Given that Knox’s family has a close relationship with Calipari that dates back to the recruiting of his brother, NBA player Kevin Knox, it would not be a surprise if Karter follows Cal to Arkansas.

Billy Richmond, Camden (NJ)

National Rank: 22

Position: Guard

Recruiting status: TBD

Richmond is the only player in the group who had a “hard commit” to Kentucky, but he is still allowed to explore other options now that there has been a head coaching change.

Boogie Fland, Archbishop Stepinac (NY)

National Rank: 26

Position: Guard

Recruiting status: TBD

There has not been an update on Fland’s recruiting status, but the No. 2-ranked point guard in the class of 2024 is sure to draw attention from multiple schools if he reconsiders his options.

Somto Cyril, Overtime Elite

National Rank: 46

Position: Center

Recruiting status: TBD

Cyril’s Overtime Elite partner, Knox, has already decommitted from Kentucky. Will the four-star center follow Knox’s lead? It’s worth noting that Quaintance’s (and even sophomore center Zvonimir Ivisic’s) decisions could alter his path because of playing time.

Travis Perry, Lyon County (KY)

National Rank: 73

Position: Guard

Recruiting status: TBD

Perry is the lone recruit in this incoming class who is from Kentucky. It will be interesting to see if he re-opens his recruitment or decides to stay home and play for Big Blue Nation.

Kentucky’s current players

In addition to a top-tier recruiting class, Kentucky’s current roster could also see a shake-up with players entering the transfer portal following the Calipari news.

Take a look below for the latest information on the decisions made by key contributors from this year’s Wildcats roster.

Freshman center Bradshaw — Wagner’s high school teammate — was the first player to enter the transfer portal following the Calipari rumors. Sophomore guard Thiero already put his name in the transfer portal before the Calipari news.

Freshman guard Dillingham and freshman forward Edwards already declared for the draft. Nothing should change for top prospect Sheppard, either, who was expected to declare for the 2024 NBA Draft no matter what.

Freshman guard Wagner faces an even tougher decision to turn pro, return to Kentucky, or enter the transfer portal now that Calipari is leaving.

Sophomore forward Onyenso and freshman center Ivisic are the top two names to monitor in the fallout of Calipari’s departure.


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